Romania Orthodox Church Protests In-Vitro Fertilization

The Orthodox Church of Romania took a stand against in-vitro fertilization on Monday after a 67-year-old Romanian, using the assisted reproduction technique, became the oldest woman ever known to have given birth.

"The technique used by this woman runs counter to Christian morality," Bishop Ciprian Campineanul told a press conference Monday after Adriana Iliescu, a retired university professor, gave birth to twin girls Sunday.

Only one, weighing 1.4 kilogram (three pounds), survived.

"Life is a gift of God and a child is the fruit of a love relationship between a man and a woman. I dare say the desire of this woman to have a child at the age of 67 shows her selfishness," Campineanul added. "The Orthodox Church encourages couples to resort to adoption rather than to in-vitro fertilization."

According to Agence-France Presse, the bishop also criticized "performance-driven" doctors "who refused to take Christian morality into account."

Iliescu’s case, which has sparked widespread controversy in Romania, comes ahead of the new Romanian law on assisted reproduction that is to come into force on January 1, 2007—the date on which Romania hopes to join the European Union. AFP reports that the new law is expected to include an age limit of around 50 years of age for Romanian women seeking artificial insemination.